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Drew W. Eaton, Anita Johnson, and Lawrence Kinneyon view in the current Art Dialogue exhibit

Works of Three Artists

Eaton’s wall-hanging sculpture/paintings are like three-dimensional display models of exotic built terrain. Cities of the ancient past, futuristic cities. They are relief constructions of cardboard in sometimes regular geometrical shapes and forms—triangles and rectangles and circles—sometimes irregular, in three dimensions and two, and various surface textures--from smooth to corrugated and stages in-between—and paint application and color effects, subtly reminiscent in the painting latter aspect of art historical models. For example, “Circles Pushing on High,” in an ethereal mix of separate sunny hues, reminiscent of the work of impressionists the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Vuillard; and “Nebulae,” in expressionist shades of dark blue, reminiscent of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”; and “Over, Under, Sideways, and Down,” in a kind of slapdash coloristic application reminiscent of Jasper Johns.

Several all-white examples--in the context of the variety of painting effects recalling art historical precedents--seem to be in homage to Ad Reinhardt, and by extension, the repertoire of extreme non-representational strategies, in painting, but then also in sculpture, of Abstract Expressionism. More particularly with reference to Ad Reinhardt’s all-white paintings, the multiplicity and variety of surfaces in Eaton’s constructions, resulting in different light reflection effects from surfaces painted in the same hue and paint thickness, recall the subtle white-on-white, white-against-white, effects Reinhardt created in what would seem at first glance to be undifferentiated monotone paintings.

Nor is the art historical referencing without a sense of irony. One of the all-white examples, featuring regular geometric forms predominantly, though some irregular, is called “Paean to Jackson Pollock,” whose signature artwork is notably colorful, and lacking completely in anything like a regular geometrical form or figure.

Anita Johnson’s art consists of acrylic paint on paper exotic to more subdued design patterns, like custom wallpaper, usually segmented, like a window with multiple panes. The more subdued work best, such as the lovely “Summer Time” and “In the Gloaming,” contrasting subtle background vertical stripes with brush smudge overlays of deeper versions of the stripe colors, suggesting, without specifically articulating, flowers or leaves, nature at any rate, against the fundamentally architectural idea of the background verticals.

Laurence Kinney’s work consists of large-scale, high-glaze-finish, off-pastel-tone ceramics whose forms for the most part defy identification, categorization. Work that it seems may have started life on the pottery wheel much as a traditional ceramic object—a vase, say-—but then morphed under the hand and imagination of the potter into something rather outlandish. The titles of the works don’t help much in identifying the forms. Two works that do seem to present an identifiable form--a Chinese fortune cookie, of all things--are entitled, respectively, “Puddle Jumper” and “El Grecoed.”

The Eaton-Johnson-Kinney exhibit continues through August 17.

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